With several alterations announced for the Skilled Worker visa route, it is crucial to remain informed and prepared. This article aims to summarise the main changes introduced in the Statement of Changes to Immigration Rules on 17th July 2023.
Changes in a Nutshell
The modifications to the Skilled Worker visa primarily concentrate on two aspects. First, there is the addition of new jobs to the Shortage Occupation List, and secondly, the introduction of restrictions on switching from the student visa to the Skilled Worker visa, and other sponsored or work visas before the completion of the course.
Effective Dates for the Changes
It is essential to note that changes regarding dependants of student visa holders and switching from student visas will come into effect at 1500 on 17th July 2023, differing from the standard convention of changes to the Immigration Rules taking effect no earlier than 21 days post their placement in Parliament.
The remaining changes to the Skilled Worker visa and Shortage Occupation List will commence on 7th August 2023.
Shortage Occupation List Updates
The Shortage Occupation List, which includes jobs experiencing a shortage where immigration could sensibly address the issue, offers lower salary requirements and visa application fees. The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has recommended adding the following roles in construction:
- Bricklayers and masons (5312)
- Roofers, roof tilers, and slaters (5313)
- Carpenters and joiners (5315)
- Construction and building trades not elsewhere classified (5319)
- Plasterers (5321)
To support the fishing industry, jobs in the following occupations are also being added:
- Agriculture and fishing trades not elsewhere classified (5119)
- Fishing and other elementary agriculture occupations not elsewhere classified (9119)
Requirement for Genuine Intention to Undertake Sponsored Job
Consistent with Temporary Work routes, applicants must genuinely intend to undertake their sponsored job, and not work in breach of their conditions. In essence, you must genuinely intend and be able to undertake the role for which you are being sponsored.
Student Visa Route Changes and Consequences
Changes to the student visa route, announced on 23rd May 2023, are now included in the immigration rules as of the 17th July 2023 Statement of Changes. Notable changes include removing the right for international students to bring dependants unless they’re on designated research postgraduate courses and removing the ability for students to switch to work routes before completing their studies.
General Practitioner (GP) Specialty Training Changes
Lastly, for applicants sponsored for General Practitioner (GP) specialty training, changes will allow them to be granted permission until four months after the end of their certificate of sponsorship, instead of the usual 14 days. This change is designed to give them additional time to find employment with a GP practice that is a licensed sponsor.
Stay informed, and remember, at Meliora Legal, we’re here to guide you through these complex changes and provide the support you need to navigate the shifting landscape of UK immigration.